ESG Integration Forum – Summer
Interactive, virtual forum

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Virtual event: Available on replay

About the forum

Telling your ESG story in a virtual environment!

Following on from the success of our previous ESG Integration Forums, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine were back again this summer to discuss the outcomes of the proxy season and help companies respond to the growing demand for improved ESG practices.

We brought together investor relations, finance, sustainability, governance, risk and compliance experts all under one ‘roof’ on our virtual event platform to discuss the underlying factors that have driven the rise of ESG, learn about investor expectations, deepen
shareholder engagement, help companies identify and act on material risks, and better manage shareholder proposals in the ‘new normal’.

A far cry from a traditional webinar format, the event featured virtual roundtable discussions, live chat with attendees, one-on-one video chats and extensive networking. The panel discussions was followed by a live Q&A with the audience.


Due to current restrictions, the event will take place as a virtual experience using our bespoke, cutting-edge technology.

Our virtual event platform closely replicates attending in-person by facilitating interaction with speakers, one-to-one networking with fellow IR and governance professionals, and group roundtable discussions. Going virtual helps you connect with a wider network from the comfort of your desk.


Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) per day. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs. More information is available at


Timings on the agenda as shown as Eastern Time (ET)

View the 2021 PDF agenda here


  • 10:30 AM
    Welcome to the ESG Integration Forum – Summer 2021!

    Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

  • 10:40 AM
    NEW: Research rockpiles – The latest stats and facts on ESG

    Ben Ashwell presents an overview of the latest IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary’s research on ESG.

    • Hear the latest research from the perspective of companies and investors
    • Track the ESG trends by understanding what has changed in the past 12-months
    • Take home facts and figures related to how your peers are approaching ESG

    Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine

  • 10:45 AM
    What have we learned about investor ESG expectations from this proxy season?

    In this session, we look to understand the type of ESG proposals and factors that are top of mind for shareholders, which issues are gathering support from investors and which ESG issues are likely to attract future proposals.

    • Learn about the ESG issues that should be top of mind for boards
    • Understand what funds are trying to accomplish in their proxy voting
    • Discover where the gap is between management and shareholders on ESG-related proposals
    • Discuss emerging trends like say-on-climate and whether it is likely to have an impact in the US in the future

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Matt DiGuiseppe, vice president of research & ESG, Diligent
    Manisha Singh, senior portfolio manager, AIG Funds

  • 11:15 AM
    ESG trend watch: International drivers and domestic policy

    The Biden administration seems intent on putting the US back in the driving seat on climate action and with Gary Gensler appointed as chair of the SEC, we discuss global drivers for ESG and whether the US is likely to follow suit.

    • Learn about the changes in policies globally and debate if they would fit in the US
    • Understand the impact and unintended consequences of increased ESG regulation
    • Debate whether ESG disclosure will become mandatory in the US and in what form it will take

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Alex Gold, head of ESG and chief executive officer, BWD Strategic
    Neil Stewart, director of corporate outreach, Value Reporting Foundation
    Lizbeth Wright, vice president and chief counsel for corporate and securities, Eaton Corporation

  • 11:45 AM
    Meet the attendees: Networking

    Match with other attendees for a short, fun introduction using our virtual networking tool: it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
    1. Visit the networking area and click connect
    2. Get randomly matched with another attendee for a three-minute introduction
    3. Exchange contact information or move on to the next attendee: it’s up to you!

  • 12:00 PM
    Climate Change: What investors want

    Climate change has been the talk of the proxy season, but what exactly are investors’ expectations of companies regarding their approach to climate reporting and action?

    • Understand the top trends and critical issues related to climate change
    • Learn how companies can integrate climate considerations into their organizations and produce informative, decision-useful disclosures related to climate change
    • Hear about Wellington’s approach to climate change research, advocacy and integration into its engagement and investment processes

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Ari Frankel, managing director and head of ESG, Solebury Trout
    Chris Goolgasian, senior managing director and director of climate research, Wellington Management

  • 12:45 PM
    Roundtable discussion: Your ESG questions answered

    Join this unique and interactive session for an open discussion related to all aspects of ESG. This is an opportunity to share experiences, opinions and understand how your peers are approaching their own ESG programs.

  • 13:15 PM
    STREAM A: Getting started and managing ESG on a shoestring

    All ESG programs need to start somewhere and not everyone has the luxury of unlimited resources to dedicate to an ESG program. This session will focus on the steps you can take when starting or ramping up your ESG program and prioritizing efforts as a small or mid-cap issuer.

    • Understand what activities are needed to start creating an ESG story that resonates with investors
    • Discover which metrics and frameworks are most important to prioritize for an ESG program in its infancy
    • Learn how to get buy-in from management and the board on your ESG disclosure efforts

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Andrea DeMarco, senior vice president of investor relations, corporate communications and ESG, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
    Eliza Riego, head of product and service innovation, TMX Group
    Hunter Wells, vice president of investor relations, Century Communities

  • 13:15 PM
    STREAM B: Strengthen the board’s relationship with ESG

    An increasing number of boards are setting public climate targets, and companies start linking executive compensation to ESG metrics. Join this session to learn how to manage the relationship that the board has with ESG.

    • Hear how teams have presented a forward-thinking strategy to their board to ensure buy-in from the top
    • Learn about the ESG metrics that companies link to executive compensation and how it has impacted decision making in the business
    • Understand how to approach public targets and ensure the board are comfortable committing to these targets

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Eileen Kamerick, non-executive director, ACV Auctions, Legg Mason Closed End Funds, AIG Funds, Associated Banc-corp and Hochschild Mining
    Chad Spitler, founder and chief executive officer, Third Economy

  • 13:45 PM
    How to use ESG to drive better stock performance and reduce your cost of capital

    Discuss the role ESG plays in improving financial performance and the impact it has depending on the stage of your ESG journey

    • Understand the drivers behind ESG’s ability to improve Return on Equity and cost of capital
    • Learn about the extent that financial performance is impacted depending on your level of reporting in comparison to peers
    • Discover whether leading, laggard, or improving companies benefit more from ESG reporting

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Tensie Whelan, director, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business
    Ulrich Atz, research fellow, NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business

  • 14:15 PM
    Meet the attendees: Networking

    Match with other attendees for a short, fun introduction using our virtual networking tool: it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

    1. Visit the networking area and click connect
    2. Get randomly matched with another attendee for a three-minute introduction
    3. Exchange contact information or move on to the next attendee: it’s up to you!
  • 14:30 PM
    Beyond the proxy: Mastering year-round ESG engagement

    Asset owners and asset managers have stepped up their approach to active ownership, and Covid-19 has changed the nature of communications between corporates and the capital markets. Engagement and communication with the buy-side and sell-side are critical to a well-run investor-facing ESG program, and this session will explore how companies can capitalize on the opportunities for increased engagement outside of the proxy season.

    • Discuss the benefits of continuous shareholder engagement around ESG issues
    • Learn how to get the balance right between achieving a continuous conversation on ESG with the markets and maximizing management’s time
    • Discover how to develop a proactive approach to off-season engagement to clarify what investors want from ESG information.

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Martin Jarzebowski, director of ESG and responsible investing, Federated Hermes
    Mei Ni Chu, director of investor relations, Voya Financial
    Joe Vicari, managing director and practice lead for communications and customer experience, Broadridge

  • 15:00 PM
    Shareholder ID and targeting ESG stakeholders

    We talk about the best way to find the investors that fit with your ESG profile and share how to communicate your data and story with those firms and indexes that are most relevant to you.

    • Debate what is more important: Narrative, data or ESG scores as capital markets and ESG continue to evolve
    • Understand the different collection methods that investment firms and indexes use and which qualities they look for in sustainable companies and learn where to focus your efforts
    • Discuss how best to identify investors and communicate your ESG risks and opportunities with them in a way that resonates with their efforts

    Moderator: Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine
    Chad Reed, vice president, investor relations and ESG, Hannon Armstrong
    Maheen Sayeed, senior associate, IHS Markit

  • 15:30 PM
    Data gathering and prioritizing your efforts

    In this session, we will discuss the latest trends and share best practices on identifying, collecting, and disclosing material ESG information.

    • Understand the latest reporting trends and whether corporate reporting can evolve beyond the 10-K to enable better ESG disclosure
    • Learn how to identify material issues and improve your systems for collecting and disclosing relevant data
    • Turn data into action: Understand how to utilize your ESG data to mitigate risk and add value to your stakeholders

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Corporate Secretary
    Alexandra Deigman, head of investor relations, Lazard
    Jennifer Motles, chief sustainability officer, Philip Morris International

  • 16:00 PM
    Summary of discussions and end of the conference

    Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary and IR Magazine


To inquire about speaking at future forums, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 3865 8103

What our virtual attendees say

"The agenda was informative and fast-paced; the presenters were knowledgeable and engaging."


"Platform was great, sessions were short and impactful."


"The topics were great the platform worked really well too."


"Really strong and articulate line-up of panelists. Easy access to link to event and to ask questions. I really enjoyed the session and looking forward to the event in October. I thought the topics were timely and appropriate."

ESG Verification

"I liked the variety of participants"

Toll Brothers

" Very topical subject. Highly knowledgeable speakers. Platform has become stable and reliable."


"Knowledgeable panels. Productive discussion. Easy participation. Visibility and up-voting of questions."

GCs Counsel

"Great selection of panelists. I thought the platform was very user friendly."

Murphy USA

"Relevant content and solid speaker line-up"

Aecon Group

"I have been to a lot of these events and I have found the conversations to be richer and more insightful than many of the bigger panels - probably due to good moderation and good panelists. I was also impressed by how seamless the virtual format was. "


Who attends our virtual events

Our attendees are leading IR and GRC practitioners with an established track record and strategic role within their company.

Below is a sample of some of our virtual attendees:

Job title Company Job title Company
AVP strategy & sustainability Canadian Western Bank Head of investor relations, Americas Omron Corporation
CCO Edgewood Management Partner Fox Rothschild
CEO Curley Global IR President and CEO Sarmaya Capital Corp
CFO 5N Plus Senior associate, financial reporting Crescita Therapeutic
CFO Lithium Americas Senior director of corporate strategy and development Enviva
Chief citizenship officer California Water Service Senior investor relations analyst Pinterest
Chief legal and compliance officer and secretary II-VI Incorporated Senior investor relations analyst eHealth
Chief of staff Omni Logistics Senior investor relations analyst Opentext
Corporate compliance manager Huntington Ingalls Industries Senior investor relations representative American Financial Group
Corporate VP and chief of staff Huron Consulting Group Senior manager, ESG F5
Counsel, corporate and securities The Kraft Heinz Company Senior manager, investor relations & corporate communications Sarepta Therapeutics
DEI director PGE Strategic partner Metagnosis Consulting
Director Kraft Heinz SVP and head of shareholder services Citizens Financial Group
Director corporate responsibility Quest Diagnostics SVP, corporate secretary Kearny Bank
Director, corporate governance Exchange Bank of Canada SVP, general counsel Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
Director, EH&S Park Ohi SVP, investor relations JLL
Director, ESG & public policy Enbridge VP, capital markets & strategy Calfrac Well Services
Director, investor relations Brown-Forman VP, communications and IR Opiant
Director, IR, corporate communications and ESG Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings VP, corporate social responsibility Zillow Group
Director, research and thought leadership CPA Ontario VP, deputy general counsel & chief enterprise risk officer Clarios
Director, sustainability Micron Technology VP, financial planning reporting Avery Dennison
ESG advisor, investor relations Imperial Oil VP, general counsel Hawkins
EVP Rush Enterprises VP, investor relations Campbell
Executive director, IR and communications Urban Outfitters VP, Investor Relations Schnitzer Steel Industries
Head of corporate affairs Vanda Pharmaceuticals VP, IR and strategic business development PyroGenesis Canada


Request full past attendee list

Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The ESG Integration Forum – Summer brings together some of the most influential people in the IR and GRC communities.

The event offers an effective approach to targeting clients when they are exploring how they can improve their IR and GRC practice. Through our unrivalled knowledge of the subject matters and commitment to in-depth agenda research, our events are guaranteed to attract a qualified audience.

The unique buzz we create at our virtual events – a far cry from a webinar – makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from heads of IR and governance teams. This allows our partners to have meaningful conversations with corporates who are deciding which parts of their ESG program to invest in, which service providers to engage and consultants to retain. By partnering with us on an event, you can generate leads, showcase your thought leadership and position yourselves as the partner of choice to the IR and GRC communities.

We’d love to have a chat with you about how you can get in front of a truly engaged and motivated audience at the ESG Integration Forum – Summer. Get in touch with Ian Richman or call on +1 212 430 6865.

In the last 12 months, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary’s virtual events have attracted the highest, most diverse and senior attendees and experts in investor relations and governance


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If you have any questions, please contact Chloë Rutter at [email protected] or +44 20 3002 0396.

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